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Beyond Belief: The Moors Murderers: The Story of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley Paperback – 5 Jun 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (5 Jun 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330020889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330020886
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Emlyn Williams' classic account of the notorious Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who between 1962 and 1965 abducted, brutally abused and murdered five children - Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans - and buried them in shallow graves on Saddleworth Moor, in Lancashire.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Margaret Little on 30 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My own childhood was spent in several small Cheshire towns all close to Hyde and I remember, so well, how the people there spoke and behaved. I remember how we kids played in the streets, or in the woods or down by the river, or out on our bikes from morning till night without parents giving it a thought. I remember the streets of terraced houses, every one of them containing (as Emlyn Williams's bewildered policeman commented, when summoned so urgently to number 16, Wardle Brook Avenue) "a budgie and a Grannie". I remember the bread deliveries in the mornings, the everlasting soft rain, the factory smoke, the children in pixie hoods, how people reacted and how everybody spoke.
Writing immediately after the Moors trial and before so many further facts became known Emlyn Williams, in 1967, got all this nevertheless so exactly right; he was not a great playwright for nothing. If I read his book I am back in that place, at that time. What a pity, really, that such terrible events had to happen around the Hyde district before such a book came to be written but in spite of that, and whatever its factual omissions or inaccuracies, I still think it is a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sheffield_butterfly on 15 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
One of the first books about the crimes - but again, its just a re-hash of other books previously published. Highly biased opinions - myriad incorrect facts about both the crimes and those involved, holds on to untrue rumour and reports them as hard fact. Inaccuracies aren't the worst thing about this book - it seems to me to be a journalistic, highly dramatized account of the circumstances, victims and perpetrators of the crime - it is not an accurate account by a long shot! In my opinion, don't waste your money - if you are interested in this subject, there are plenty of other good, accurate books out there that go not down the sensationalist self satisfying routes this book does
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roy O'Rorurke on 14 July 2009
Format: Paperback
While there can be doubt that Emlyn Williams did a great job in writing and researching this book I feel it is overall a book of its time. At times the story reads like a classic murder mystery except we all know "who dunnit" already. The modern day true crime biography is written in a more factual manner and that is what I was expecting. I am not saying that this is the definitive way in which a book like this should be written but I do prefer it to the imaginary conversations that seem to pepper Beyond Belief. Which brings me to the most irritating aspect of this book. The grammar. The schizophrenic way in which Williams jumps from one person to another by way of phonetic spelling is incredibly distracting. One moment you are reading the supposed musings of Ian Brady (written so as to be interpreted as a thick Glaswegian accent) and before you know it, halfway through the paragraph you actually find out that you are now reading Myra's. No quotation marks. No Full stops. And no commas, Time and time again I had to keep re-reading sentences whilst trying not to apply a Scottish accent to absolutely everyone! As I say a good read but overall very trying.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WJ on 7 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't like the way this was written, written with the northern accent which made it difficult to read at times, also written a lot in Myras head, in her thoughts at the time which seemed sympathetic, i would prefer to just read facts, that seems like opinion to me... But not all bad, worth a read if your really interested in reading about this fram all angles, but i have read better on it.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gent on 18 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
For me Emlyn Williams captures the dreadful scenes and circumstance all too clearly. As someone who was growing up at the time in that area, it brings home, the culture, the environment and the sadly naive world in which we lived then. His use of the narrative to bring home the events works extremely well, yes attempted use of a Northern accent doesn't always work, but in this case, he just about carries it. The descriptions, in some cases are brutal, but the portrayal of the dogged detective work that paid off in the end, stunning. ...
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on 16 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
I wasn't born until 1971, so the dreadful crimes of these two didn't mean much to me until I bought this book in 1994. Fair enough, a lot of it IS surmise; Emlyn Williams guesses at dialogue, and fills in the blanks between facts with fiction, but, in my eyes, it's almost as if he were there with them! Certainly a book worth buying, as it is chilling as it is fascinating.
If, like me, you want an insight into the pair, from their births to their incarceration, then this is the book for you.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Colbourne on 16 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback
I was a teenager at the time of the Moors Murders, so can remember the press coverage generated. This book, although now overtaken by events and more recently revealed information, does convey a sense of time and place very well. Emlyn Williams states that part of the work is 'surmise' which is inevitable as the book was written so soon after the events, but it does carry you along and works at putting you into the minds of the murderers. A recomended read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
I have always had an interest in the moors murders case and 'Beyond Belief' was the first book I purchased on the case. It was originally published in 1967, a year after Ian Brady and Myra Hindley's imprisonment, long before a wealth of information came to light, no one apart from the murderers even knew for certain that the couple had murdered another two children until 1987.

My favourite book is Truman Capote's classic 'In Cold Blood' and on it's release, 'Beyond Belief' was hailed as the UK equivalent, in some ways I would go along with that but the latter is far superior.

This book is very much part fiction and many of Williams' theories (which he wrote to fill in the gaps) have proven to be inaccurate and are disproved. Williams is a good writer but his frequent use of accents will no doubt confuse some readers. I have to say that even at the time of the book's release, I believe that he was trying to portray characters and certainly exaggerated a lot. I think that my biggest fault with the book is that I didn't like the way in which it portrays Hindley as a simple follower, with no real mind of her own (although it wasn't known at the time just how much she was willing to take part in such evil).

However, the book is still not without it's merits and when the reader is informed about what really happened after the final murder, the brutal axing of a seventeen year old boy, this is when the book's style changes and the actual story is then told rather than how it 'could have been'. Certainly Williams did his homework, he penned very detailed accounts of the killer's childhoods, the writing is excellent and the reader is never really fooled because before the book starts, Emlyn Williams did say that his work was only part truth.
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